This page contains a comparison of the different choices regarding motor kit selection and buying tips for individuals. If you are buying the kits for group of students or birthday party activity – click on Classroom Science above.
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If you want to build one of the motors described on this site you have three choices:
- The simplest way is to order one of the kits and assemble any motor described on this site following the detailed assembly instructions. See, for example, how easy you can put together motor kit #4. We even have videos on our YouTube channel showing how to build these motors step-by-step.
- You can try to design and build the motor yourself from your own materials based on descriptions available at How It Works section. Be advised, however, that some of the parts required for these motors, such as heavy duty reed switches, are not sold in Radio Shack and other general electronics stores. You may purchase these parts on our site.
- You can build a simple reed switch motor without buying a kit as described at Assembly Instructions: Reed Switch Motor with Household Materials. Again, you may order the parts you need on this site.
It is recommended to buy one of the kits instead of building it yourself for the following reasons:
- There are 17 different kits. They include everything you need to build the corresponding electric motor. Kits contain many carefully made and selected parts. For example, this is what you get when you order Kit #10.
- These motors use professionally made parts but at the same time they have a “self-made” charm and appearance.
- The axle in the motors built from kits #1-10 and #13-14 sticks out to allow you to attach anything desired, such as an electric generator, a fan (propeller), colored disks, etc. This gives you the opportunity to conduct many experiments. The build-it-yourself motor usually lacks this ability.
- The kits contain parts that were carefully designed and tested many times. That significantly improves your chances to build the motor successfully. It is very easy to assemble these motors from the kits.
- The precision of modifications on our newest QuikLock motor kits matches the precision of original parts with tolerances up to +/-0.03 mm (this is 1/10 of human hair thickness!). You need such accuracy to achieve stated speed and power.
- Unless you have most of the parts at home the kits are cheaper. It also saves you several trips to different stores.
- The motors from the kits are transportable: you may easily move them around; they work in any position and orientation.
So which kit do you need?
Reed switch motors (kits #1-4 and #11-14) are the simplest and are suitable for beginners. (You may watch our Comparison Review of Different Simple Electric Motors video on our YouTube channel).
Kits #5-7 are also easy to build, however they are based on a more complex theory and may be used in high schools and even at college/university level.
We believe that for school science project kits #1-4 are more appropriate, but if you have limited time QuikLock motors (kits #11-14) may be assembled very quickly. Also advanced QuikLock motors include 6 magnets and parts for two rotors so you can easily switch between 2 or 4 magnet rotors.
If you want to see how all these different motors work you may select Kit #8 where you can build four motors one after another. If you want to switch between all of them with simple turn of a knob you might be interested in kit #9 or 10.
In your science project you may compare two or more of these motors. This comparison is valid and accurate as all the motors share the same mechanical design. For your project you may select any combination of kits #4, 5, 6, and 7.
For a good science project you need to experiment with your motor, take measurements, calculate unknown parameters and build graphs/tables. You might be interested in RPM measurement tools, generator, solar panel etc. On this site you can find a lot of useful information on experiments, measurements and calculation formulas. All experimentation supplies for your project are available in our store.
Every kit includes all parts necessary for complete motor assembly. However, if you plan to experiment with these motors, you may want to order backup parts in case that any of them break. Common parts that might be broken during experimentation include the reed switch, Hall Effect switch, optointerrupter, and transistor.
- First steps into the world of electricity, magnetism and electronics? – Start with reed switch motors.
- Younger age? – QuikLock motors are the best bet.
- Just want to build the simplest working motor quickly? – Kit #11 or #12.
- Need the most reliable and quiet motor that can work for years? – Motor on a Hall Effect.
- Interested in the fastest motor? – Kit #14.
- Want to do complex experiments and calculations? – You need to add a generator (maybe even two of them to calculate the efficiency of your motor). You also need RPM measurement tools.
Finally if you buy kit #10 you will get a complete package where you can build all the motors and perform almost all the experiments.